Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Archive for the ‘IGCSE’ Category

Providing an Agricultural Answer to Nature’s Call

Posted by Lindy on October 18, 2011



Posted in Appropriate technology, Development, Fragile environments, Global warming, Human geography, IGCSE, Kibera, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Researchers Produce Cheap Sugars for Sustainable Biofuel Production

Posted by Lindy on October 2, 2011

ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2011)

A liquid looking like treacle is produced by the fast pyrolysis of biomass such as corn stalks or wood chips. Fast pyrolysis involves quickly heating the biomass without oxygen to produce liquid or gas products.

This is a new way to make inexpensive sugars from biomass. That’s a big deal because those sugars can be further processed into biofuels.  It has the potential to be the cheapest way to produce biofuels or biorenewable chemicals.

Posted in Appropriate technology, Bio-enenrgy, Climate change, Fragile environments, Global warming, IGCSE, Renewable, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Is the current rainfall in Parkistan due to climate change?

Posted by Lindy on September 18, 2011

Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, a renowned climatologist would have you believe it is! Read this article and see what you think.

Posted in Climate change, Fragile environments, IGCSE | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Lindy on September 18, 2011

Overall in Africa, 80 percent of the continent’s population using traditional biomass (wood) and only 42 percent have access to electricity! Something needs to be done

Posted in Energy sources, IGCSE | Leave a Comment »

Cities to Grab Lands Equaling Size of Mongolia In Next 20 Years, Study Predicts

Posted by Lindy on September 18, 2011

ScienceDaily (Sep. 16, 2011) — In the next 20 years, more than 590,000 square miles of land globally — more than twice the size of Texas — will be gobbled up by cities, a trend that shows no signs of stopping and one that could pose threats on several levels, says a Texas A&M University geographer who is part of a national team studying the problem.

“This massive urbanization of land is happening worldwide, but India, China and Africa have experienced the highest rates of urban land expansion,” Güneralp explains. “Our study covered the 30 years from 1970 to 2000, and we found that urban growth is occurring at the highest rates in developing countries. However, it is the North America that experienced the largest increase in total urban land.”

The United Nations predicts that by 2030 there will be an additional 1.47 billion people living in urban areas; and, urban population growth is a significant driver of urban land change, especially in developing regions such in India and Africa. However, economic growth is also important, particularly in China.

Coastal areas are especially vulnerable to urban expansion. This makes coastal areas a special area of concern because people and infrastructures are at risk to rising sea levels, flooding, hurricanes, tsunamis and other disasters.

There is a good side to urbanisation however. People who live in cities tend to have better access to health care, water and sanitation facilities, and cities are shown to be more efficient with regards to such things as energy consumption compared to rural areas. In cities, people exchange. They exchange ideas, experiences as well as materials. All these spur innovation and create business opportunities. Because of all these interactions, cities are the most likely places to come up with the solutions to the emerging environmental and economic challenges that we face.

Posted in coasts, IGCSE, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

Build a new floating home?

Posted by Lindy on September 8, 2011

One plan the president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has is to build floating island, where the 100,000 inhabitants of these coral atolls will be safe. Some think they should just abandon their homes and move elsewhere, as many homes have already been washed away. Salt water has infiltrated the soil and the crops have been lost

Links about Kiribati:

Posted in coasts, Development, Fragile environments, IGCSE, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Microbes Generate Electricity While Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste

Posted by Lindy on September 7, 2011

Now this is a fairly complicated ideas but read the link if you dare!

Put as simply as possible, geobacter bacteria manage to not only survive in amongst toxic uranium but neutralize it wild using energy to produce electricity! As you probably know, one of the major problems with exploiting nuclear power is the waste products, and in the case in Japan following the tsunami, what to do if the uranium escapes. These little guys look like they may be the answer! While nuclear power is known as a carbon-free way of producing electricity, their down-side has put off many countries from exploiting it

Posted in Energy sources, IGCSE, Unit B4 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

China getting into deep water?

Posted by Lindy on June 22, 2011

[Map from}

Over 450mm of rain fell from June 13 to 19, 2011 – that is more in 6 days than many parts of SE England get in a year! No wonder life is a bit damp in China this week.

Photogallery on gathering disaster:

Posted in Climate change, Hazards, IGCSE, Rivers | Leave a Comment »

Toyota car plant gears up for solar power

Posted by Lindy on June 12, 2011

Toyota looks set to install a £10m solar array to power operations at its Derbyshire plant after the local authority granted planning approval for the ambitious project. The company has already started work to fit around 17,000 panels on 90,000 square metres of industrial land – an area slightly smaller than four and a half football pitches – within the plant’s boundaries. It says the array will be capable of supplying enough energy to build around 7,000 cars a year at the plant, which produces Auris hybrid, Auris and Avensis cars, as well as saving the company 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. It should begin supplying power to the plant in July, allowing the installation to get in ahead of the government’s proposed cuts to feed-in tariffs for large solar arrays.
Toyota claims it will be the first UK car manufacturer to install a large-scale solar panel array and said the move is part of the company’s wider strategy of lowering the company’s carbon footprint.
“Generating solar power on-site to supply electricity to the plant underlines our commitment to do even more to further reduce our carbon footprint and is yet another example of our environmental leadership,” said Tony Walker, deputy managing director at Toyota Manufacturing UK.

Posted in Appropriate technology, Climate change, Global warming, IGCSE, Renewable, solar, Solution to problems, Y7/8 | Leave a Comment »

The first good news about predicting earthquakes

Posted by Lindy on May 20, 2011  to see the images.

Scientists say that the atmosphere above the epicenter of Japan’s catastrophic March 11 earthquake underwent significant changes prior to the tectonic thrust.

Preliminary studies of the phenomena by Chapman University researcher Dimitar Ouzounov and several international colleagues could offer insight into how to predict powerful earthquakes well before they strike.

Using satellite data, they studied atmospheric conditions during the days leading up to the quake.

They found a large increase in the concentration of electrons above northeastern Japan, which peaked three days prior to the quake.

March 8 also saw a rapid increase in infrared radiation above the future epicenter. Both atmospheric changes disappeared following the main 9.0 magnitude quake.

Similar phenomena have been detected prior to some other major earthquakes.

Posted in Hazards, IGCSE, Tectonics | Leave a Comment »